Lecture 10: Community and Justice Responses to Crime and
Criminogenic Conditions – Implications for Crime Reduction
Criminogenic Conditions: Implications for Crime Reduction
Rose and Clear (1998) – Incarceration, Social Capital, and Crime: Implications for
Social Disorganization Theory
Overreliance on formal controls may increase disorganization by impeding other
forms of control.
High incarceration rates may contribute to rates of criminal violence by
the way they contribute to such social problems as inequality, family life deterioration,
economic and political alienation, and social disorganization.
certain communities, high levels of incarceration undermine social, political, and
economic systems already weakened by the low levels of human and social capital
produced under conditions such as high rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime.
result is a reduction in social cohesion and a lessening of those communities’ capacity for
Incarcerating more offenders has not produced a decrease in crime rates.
Since 1973, the number of offenders incarcerated in prisons has increased every year,
from about 350,000 to over 1.5 million, but crime has fluctuated during that time period,
which suggests that crime control is not directly related to incarceration.
incarceration is one of the social conditions leading to crime.
The more society builds
prisons, the more it cultivates the crime problem.
Resource-poor communities suffer
from the most crime partly because they lack enough social and human capital in the first
As a result, they suffer the most from incarceration and its unintended
Stronger communities produce fewer offenders, so incarceration is a
crime control strategy that works for these communities.
High-crime neighbourhoods are
also high-incarceration neighbourhoods.
In these places, children are more likely to
experience family disruption and deteriorated informal social controls that otherwise
deflect the young from criminal behaviour.
An overreliance on external control agencies
actually weakens the capacity of communities to exert their own self-management.
prison can never be a substitute for absent adults, family members, and neighbours in
making places safe.
Imprisonment of people who threaten the personal safety of
residents may decrease the demand for self-regulation.
Boston Police Commissioner
recently attributed his city’s decline in violence to the combined strength of
neighbourhood involvement and aggressive policing.
Strengthening and mobilizing
communities enables residents to recognize and solve their own problems and creates
opportunities for everyone to take responsibility for finding solutions.
parole agencies should work in tandem with neighbourhood groups to deal with local
In Vermont, all offenders are required to engage in some form of
Violence, drug abuse, and other social problems can be prevented by